We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

(Monday, 11/26/07) Prayer 39 - Paul's Prayer for the Ephesian Church

Read First:
Eph. 1:15-23 & 3:14-21

Hear It! Eph 1
Hear It! Eph 3

Paul began the letter to the Ephesian church with one of the most important, yet concise, statements of God’s eternal purpose and work. God’s plan to redeem man kind through Jesus Christ began before the foundation of the world. Paul viewed the entire history
of humankind as designed to achieve the most glorious of God’s acts — the redemption of man from sin.

Paul brought the grand scheme of God’s redemption into a practical view by declaring that the Ephesians, having heard the gospel, believed and were sealed in the Holy Spirit, guaranteed their salvation. His prayer reflects on his hope that they understand God’s work.

What Can We Learn?
1. This prayer seems to be motivated by the great faith of the church and the love they held for their brethren.
2. Paul was primarily concerned that the Ephesians realize, not just a knowledge of God, but a deep, thorough, intense knowledge of Him.
3. He wanted the eyes of their heart (a most descriptive phrase) to be opened so that two things especially would be recognized:
(a) The hope of His calling
(b) The riches of the glory of his inheritance
4. Paul also wanted them to know the surpassing power exercised toward them, seen in God’s raising Jesus from death and seating him at His right hand.
5. Paul makes a significant statement regarding the position of Jesus as head over all things to the church.
6. In Ch. 3, that power was to produce a strength in the inner man.

Questions to Ponder
1. Why would Paul pray for people who already had a strong faith and displayed great love toward fellow Christians? Why would they need to know God any deeper than they did?
2. Read Rev. 2:1 -7. What light might this passage shine on the reason for Paul’s prayer?
3. Possibly foreseeing the danger that John identified in the passage in Revelation, what was the possible fear that Paul harbored on behalf of this church?
4. How do Eph 1:18 -19 relate to the first 14 verses of the chapter?
5. How many significant facts, all having their foundation in God’s work accomplished through Jesus Christ, can you list?
6. In 3:16-17, what is the purpose of being strengthened in the inner man?
7. Why do you think “knowing the love of Christ” is the final expression of Paul’s prayer?

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